AAPM&R is happy to join the Commission on Cancer (CoC) to celebrate its 100th anniversary. By participating in the CoC , AAPM&R is able to help further our goals of ensuring that physiatrists are an essential and integrated part of interdisciplinary cancer care teams, and highly valued by diverse stakeholder groups including patients, caregivers, oncology care teams, payers, and leaders of health systems in the future of healthcare.
We asked Eric Wisotzky, MD, FAAPMR to reflect on his role as the first AAPM&R representative to the CoC and the future collaboration of PM&R and the field of clinical oncology. Dr. Wisotzky has the unique experience of also helping form and lead the Cancer Rehabilitation Medicine practice area under PM&R BOLD over the past 5 years. Thank you to Eric Wisotzky for his role in representing AAPM&R in this important position and the revision of the Rehabilitation Care Services Standard and to Susan Maltser, DO, FAAPMR, who took over as representative in 2021!
Remarks by Eric Wisotzky, MD, FAAPMR:
It was a great honor to be selected as the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s (AAPM&R) first ever representative to the Commission on Cancer (CoC)! Our community of cancer rehabilitation physiatrists felt it was critical to have representation at the CoC so we could advocate for high quality rehabilitation services for our cancer patients and survivors. It was a tremendous experience working together with the representative from the American Physical Therapy Association to revise the Rehabilitation Care Services Standard. Through these revisions, we were able to better define rehabilitation services and to raise the bar in terms of what patients should expect from accredited cancer centers. These revisions should help cancer patients ensure they are screened and treated for the functional concerns that may develop through their cancer treatment continuum. Throughout the process, the CoC was supportive of these efforts and the input from many medical disciplines helped to make an even better end product!
There is more work to be done. There are opportunities to continue to develop the Rehabilitation Care Services Standard in the future. There is the potential for further collaborations to promote prehabilitation for cancer patients. I know that great contributions will be coming in the future from our newest AAPM&R representative, Dr. Susan Maltser. We wish the CoC a very happy 100th anniversary and would like to thank them for including AAPM&R along the way!